The 38th Ballon d'Or winner - Roberto Baggio

Thirty and axismandGolden Ball winner - Roberto Baggio    

The fourth Italian with the recognition of the best player in Europe

For a long time, Italian teams managed to maintain a high level of football in Europe. Especially in the late 80s and early 90s. However, very few of them rely mainly on Italian competitors and their big stars come from abroad. This is also the reason why 11 years separate Paolo Rossi's triumph in the Ballon d'Or voting from the next Italian to win the prize for the best player in Europe. His name is Roberto Baggio, and on December 28, 1993, he won decisively.

Baggio collected 142 points from the votes of 30 journalists representing the countries that are members of the European football headquarters - UEFA. Only one of the voters did not place the Juventus striker in the top five, 26 people thought he deserved the award and three left him in second place. Following Roberto Baggio in the ranking is Dennis Bergkamp, who collects 83 points from one first, twelve second, six third, five fourth and two fifth places. However, the Dutchman leaves 59 points from the first place, but also 49 ahead of the third - Eric Cantona. Manchester United's French star collects 34 points and also grabs one of the remaining first places. The five are completed by Alen Boksic from Croatia, as well as the Danish player of Barcelona, Michael Laudrup.

In the voting for the "Golden Ball" in 1993, two Bulgarian players were included. Surprisingly, the second from last season Hristo Stoichkov remains only twelfth with only 6 points. He shares that position with Manchester United's Peter Schmeichel and Sampdoria's Ruud Gullit. The Bulgarian ranked higher is Emil Costadino, who collects 11 points. The Porto winger remains 8 points behind Paolo Maldini, but ahead of Welshman Ryan Giggs and Swiss Stephane Chapuizza.

Baggio is having his strongest year since joining Juventus in 1990. Although his team finished fourth in Serie A in the 1992/93 season, he scored 21 goals. A feat that is just five short of top scorer Giuseppe Signori of Lazio. Baggio scored some very valuable goals for the team in the spring, including a hat-trick against Foggia, two goals against Lazio and two against Pescara. At the start of the following season, he went on a rampage, helping Juve win points and games in the Championship. A hat-trick against Genoa looks like his most impressive achievement in Calcio, but his victims also include Sampdoria, Reggiana, Lecce, Atalanta and Inter.

His more significant appearances came in the UEFA Cup tournament, won by the Bianconeri for the third time in history. Roberto Baggio scored two goals in the first final with Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion, while his namesake Dino Baggio scored a total of three - one in the first and two in the second leg. However, Robbie Baggio single-handedly eliminated PSG after scoring all three goals against the French in the 3-1 aggregate semi-final win. At the start of the following season, Lokomotiv Moscow got two goals from him in the first round tie in Italy, then he was also on target against Tenerife at the delle Alpri in the third round tie, won 3-0 by Juve.

Undoubtedly, the ever-increasing goals, his good attacking performance for Juventus, the UEFA Cup win and the inimitable style of Roberto Baggio deservedly earned him the Ballon d'Or award for the best European footballer in 1993.